When Melissa Scott sat down and looked over the criteria for the T.E.A.C.H. Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Classroom, one name immediately came to mind: Sydney Beverage.

Scott, principal at Stafford Elementary School, knew right away that Beverage would be a perfect candidate for the award, which recognizes innovative educators for their efforts in the classroom that impact their students and inspire other education professionals. The T.E.A.C.H. award – handed out by the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum (TASC) – stands for Texas Educators Achieving Classroom Honors, and it goes to a teacher with fewer than five years of classroom experience.

Beverage, who completed her fourth year in 2022-23, was the perfect candidate in Scott’s mind.

“Watching Ms. Beverage teach is always an honor and an unforgettable experience. You might be stepping into a construction zone as students are learning to calculate perimeter and area,” Scott said in her nomination letter to TASC. “On another visit, you might walk into an operating room while students are engaged in real-world problem-solving. Ms. Beverage also empowers her learners to facilitate workshops for their peers and for other students in different grade levels. Regardless of when you visit, you are guaranteed to witness students engaged in productive discourse, learners carrying the cognitive lift, and respectful classroom culture.”

It’s those experiences that Beverage, a third-grade math and science teacher, believes unlock a student’s potential.

“My ‘why’ (for teaching) always goes back to knowing that education is the key to unlocking a person’s future opportunities,” she said. “I get to be my students’ voice of hope and wisdom. I get to be their advocate, their mentor, and their cheerleader. As educators, we truly hold the future generation in our hands, and what we do with that power matters.”

As a recipient of the T.E.A.C.H. Award, Beverage will be recognized at the Texas ASCD Conference on Oct. 31.

“Being recognized for the T.E.A.C.H. award is an honor,” she said. “It affirms to me what a person is capable of when they are surrounded by a team that lifts them up, holds the expectations high, and pushes them to be their best self. It reinforces the belief that students can and will achieve when you set high expectations for them and hold them accountable. I am grateful to all the mentors I have who continue to encourage me every day, and because of them, I can be my best self for my students.”

One way Beverage sets higher expectations this school year is by implementing strategies from “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics” by Peter Liljedahl. She works to stay abreast of researched best practices. She is also engaged in a self-study of “Common Formative Assessments” by Kim Bailey, Chris Jakicic, Richard DuFour, and Rebecca DuFour to ensure students are successfully learning in her classroom.

“My goal every year for my students is that they feel comfortable and confident enough in my classroom to take educational risks,” Beverage said. “I truly believe that every student can learn and gain the necessary skills to succeed when we have high expectations and effective instructional strategies. My commitment to my students is to always continue learning so that I can give them the instruction and education that they deserve.”

Beverage serves on several campus and district committees and is part of the Abilene ISD Math Cohort, which helps design math lessons for all third-grade teachers in the district.  She also leads many professional learning workshops on effective classroom management, engagement strategies, and dynamic math instruction.

“She (Beverage) is a passionate educator who is always willing to step up and lead,” Scott said. “I am blessed to work alongside such a dedicated educator. You want someone like Ms. Beverage on your team and at your school. She will go above and beyond for any student on our campus and work tirelessly to ensure all are successful. She is a passionate educator who inspires students and colleagues alike and positively impacts our campus and our district. Our school community is better because of Ms. Beverage.”


Communications Specialist